With the slim Democratic majority in the Virginia Senate hanging in the balance, the tight race between the incumbent David Marsden and his Republican challenger, Jason Flanary, in the 37th District is crucial.
A Washington Post endorsement could be a decisive factor, and on Oct. 18, the Post’s editorial board came out squarely in favor of Marsden, calling him a “straight talker” and “a sane, sensible voice on criminal justice questions.” Here’s something the Post didn’t mention: Marsden stopped legislation last year that would have cut $60 million from the Fairfax County school budget.
The Post referred to Flanary as “a conservative pollster who thinks cannibalizing funding for schools and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse—in one of the best-governed states in the nation—is the answer to paying for new roads and bridges.” According to the Post, Flanary “likes to have things both ways. He promises to oppose all new taxes but says he didn’t take a pledge to do so and dodges questions on immigration and abortion.”
Actually, an Oct. 18 article in the Fairfax Connection confirms that Flanary did sign the anti-tax pledge, which is promulgated by Grover Norquist’s group Americans for Tax Reform. In a debate with Marsden on Sunday, Flanary said he wouldn’t sign the pledge because “I need the flexibility, the maneuverability to reform the tax structure as a legislator.” Candidates who sign the pledge promise to “oppose and vote against tax increases.” Norquist told the Connection that Flanary agreed to sign the pledge, and his name was listed on the group’s website as a signatory.
Also during that debate, Flanary tried to defend himself from an accusation of plagiarism stemming from his role as a campaign consultant for a House of Delegates candidate in 2003. You can read more about his background here.
The 37th District stretches from Springfield to Centreville and includes most of Annandale.